Pittsfield, MA United States
|1962||Everything's Coming Up Roses (from Gypsy) * My Romance (from Jumbo) * Somebody Stole My Gal|
|1963||Entertainment * How Can Love Survive (from The Sound of Music) * My Romance (from Jumbo) * Somebody Stole My Gal * America (from West Side Story) * Tonight (from West Side Story)|
|1964||Valencia * American Heritage March * Where Or When (from Babes In Arms)|
|1965||March of the Olympians * Meadowland * Parade of the Charioteers (Ben Hur) * American Heritage|
Primarily a parade corps in 1958, 1959, and 1960, the corps entered marching and maneuvering competition for the first time in 1961. Starting with fewer than 30 members in 1958, the corps fielded 54 marchers in 1961. One of the highlights of the ’61 season was an exhibition at the Mardi Gras of Champions senior contest sponsored by the Interstatesmen Senior Drum Corps from Pittsfield/Troy, New York. The corps instructional staff was mostly members of the Interstatesmen at the time. The Monarchs capped a successful inaugural M&M season with a close second-place finish in the Hudson Berkshire Circuit Championships.
The 1962 edition of the Monarchs represented Post No. 68, American Legion of Pittsfield. They fielded a competing corps consisting of 33 horns and nine drums under the direction of drum majors Judy Dion and Dick Ward. The corps also featured an outstanding 17-girl color guard commanded by captains Aline Faucher and Diane Laurin. Musical selections included “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “My Romance,” and “Somebody Stole My Gal.” In 1962 the corps placed fourth in the Massachusetts American Legion State Championships and the Hudson Berkshire Circuit Championships, and they beat their cross-town rivals Cavaliers and the Holy Trinity Cadets from Boston.
The Monarchs continued to grow in 1963, with 36 horns, 12 drums, and 23 in the color guard. A number of Open Class shows found them competing against some of the finest corps on the East Coast. The corps finished third in the Hudson Berkshire Circuit.
In 1964 the corps purchased new cadet-style uniforms, contra bass and mellophone horns, and a new equipment truck. They continued to improve with most of the members now boasting four or more years of experience. They finished fourth in the New Hampshire American Legion State Championships.
The Monarchs merged with the Pittsfield Skyhawks in 1965. They also purchased a new set of Pearl drums and were ready for their best year, with 39 horns, 12 percussion, and 24 in the color guard. The corps moved to the Yankee Circuit with mostly New England drum corps in 1965. The number and quality of competing corps at this level became evident with the groups trading places ever week, St. Rocco’s being the corps to beat. The Monarchs was still led by drum major Dick Ward and color guard captain Debbie Hebert. The corps took a third-place finish in the Vermont VFW State Championships and a fourth in the Yankee Circuit.
1965 was the last full year of competition. The Monarchs disbanded in 1966, as members went off to college and the Vietnam War. A number of the remaining members joined the Pittsfield Cavaliers, helping to make them one of the better corps in the East.
Some of the corps instructors through the years were Ronald “Rock” Ghetti and Al Hollenbeck (horns), Art Nelson (percussion), and Conrad Keado, Bud Curry and Doug Shirley (drill). Corps officials included manager R.D. Shirley, director Angelo Avanzato, assistant director William Dunn, treasurer Louis D’Ascanio, and quartermasters John Raymond and Ray Wells.
Highest Score 75.770
Final show in DCX Archives September 23, 1961 Hudson Berkshire Circuit Championship Green Island NY placed 2 with a score of 75.770
Highest Score 83.500
Final show in DCX Archives September 22, 1962 Hudson Berkshire Circuit Championship Pittsfield MA placed 4 with a score of 81.533
Highest Score 78.716
Final show in DCX Archives September 22, 1963 3rd Annual DRUM-O-RAMA Hudson Berkshire Circuit Championship Frankfort NY placed 3 with a score of 75.933
Highest Score 90.800
Final show in DCX Archives September 12, 1964 Auburn NY United States placed 3 with a score of 64.500
Highest Score 76.920
Final show in DCX Archives September 5, 1965 Yankee Circuit Championships Willimantic CT placed 4 with a score of 74.720